Thoughts on Memory…

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A few weeks ago I started back at university for my third year to a mixture of excitement and slight dread. New classes, new faces, and not only that, but this could be my last year at university. Scary huh!?

Anywho, one subject I’m taking this semester is a ‘writing creative nonfiction’ class in which we spend the semester reading and writing various forms of creative non-fiction, basically, pretty much what it says on the box. So far we’ve done a number of small writing tasks, from a number of different prompts. The first couple of these that I have written got me thinking about memory, and the complexities and limitations which memories encompass.

It was the first task more than the second which left me in a state of what I can now only call confusion, with more questions arising from the piece than I set out to answer. The piece we had to write was titled ‘notes of a childhood’**, a writing task where we had to write a form of poetic list detailing some events from our childhood. The very broad task description brought up some interesting memories, some were more funny, while others are ones I’ve never forgotten. Not because I wanted to, but because I couldn’t get them out of my head. It was here that the memory question came up…as even though I have had this one memory of the first time I saw Dad cry embedded in my mind from the age of about 15, both Mum and my sister have a memory of that day which unfolds a little differently to mine.

So, I ask myself, which is true?

Though difficult, this isn’t impossible to answer, that is if it is a question I really want to answer at all. The way I see it, no memory is really completely true. As there is no way to record everything within your mind exactly as it happened. As a twenty-one year old remembering something which happened about six years ago, there is every possibility the strong emotions I was feeling that day have embellished and elaborated on that image in my mind.

So then, how true can that memory really be?

To speak truthfully here, there isn’t really any way of knowing. I did ask Mum, as well as my sister but they both have very different ideas of what happened that day. My sister not thinking that day occurred at all, while talking about it with Mum didn’t help much either, and Dad, I can’t bring myself to ask him about it. Not yet anyway. I’ve replayed that day so many times in my head now since it occurred that I am not sure if it really happened at all or even to that extent. On that same note though, I am not sure if I could create such a real depiction of the way I felt that day. Feeling that helpless, that unsure of what to do, I’m sure it has to be real – emotions like that have to be based somewhere, right?

Do the inconsistencies cancel out the validity of my own memory?

Here, some may say yes. “Yes, the only truth is in that which is consistent through each and every story of one event.” I, however, disagree. Though my family may have a very different version of how the events that day unfolded, what I remember is my own. What I remember is true for me, and that won’t ever change. In my eyes what happened has shaped the way I relate to others, and shaped how I place myself as the ‘carer’ or ‘peace maker’ every time something occurs where someone needs to step up to that role. Knowing the truth of how real that memory is won’t change that aspect of my personality, and honestly, I wouldn’t want it to.

…but either way here, whatever we believe, does it matter?

Honestly? For some it does, for some it may not. Memory is a very personal thing. So while some memories fade and some persist within our minds, what matters is what we make of them.

~

**I’d post what I wrote for the task which sparked all this thinking here but for the fear of some sort of ‘perceived plagiarising’/’self-plagiarising’ disaster or similar with the university, maybe after the semester is over I will…

Heeding Haiku with Chèvrefeuille – Choice

The truth itself
Sits within the lie
Snugly waiting.

But…

Here-
Is it still a lie?

They know not you keep it
Save, warm, hidden.
Still
Even you don’t know
Not yet.

Here-
You’re lying to yourself?

Safe, warm, hidden
This helps none.

Not even you
And your secluded self
Your locked up heart.

Here-
Is it still a lie?

Protected
Or protecting?
Saving self
Or saving them?

So, now my dear friend
Speak your truths or spill your lies?
Waiting, all my heart

~

Written for this weeks Haiku prompt over at MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie 🙂 This week it is a Haibun: prose mixed with Haiku. My prose turned out more in the rhythms of poetry…but I am happy with it all the same

Wordle #145 – Oh, Idle Soul

Oh, idle soul
Beware.
Your filter is corrupt,
Beyond those stewing thoughts,
An ugly truth does wait.

Oh, idle soul
Reach out.
Don’t cringe away now,
Your jailer’s gone for good,
To Emerald City, far.

Oh, idle soul
Away.
That ledge of yours,
Exotic in appearance,
But a crescent moon beneath

Oh, idle soul
Look far.
Your longanimity rewarded,
In the purest of angelic noise,
The perfect afflatus, for you.

Oh, idle soul.
You idle soul
Beware.

~

Written for this weeks Wordle on MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie 🙂 It is a little late, and the first one I’ve written in quite a while, but I’m getting my creative juices back and this felt like a good place to start!

Book Review: The Golden Child, Wendy James

Goodreads Blurb:

Blogger Lizzy’s life is buzzing, happy, normal. Two gorgeous children, a handsome husband, destiny under control. For her real-life alter-ego Beth, things are unravelling. Tensions are simmering with her husband, mother-in-law and even her own mother. Her teenage daughters, once the objects of her existence, have moved beyond her grasp and one of them has shown signs of, well, thoughtlessness …
Then a classmate of one daughter is callously bullied and the finger of blame is pointed at Beth’s clever, beautiful child. Shattered, shamed and frightened, two families must negotiate worlds of cruelty they are totally ill-equipped for.
This is a novel that grapples with modern-day spectres of selfies, selfishness and cyberbullying. It plays with our fears of parenting, social media and Queen Bees, and it asks the question: just how well do you know your child?

My Thoughts:

There is something rather haunting but oddly familiar about both the characters and the story of The Golden Child which left me speechless and almost in tears. However, beyond my own personal reaction to finishing this novel (though brought on by personal experience, having done my first three years of high school at an all girls school, it was something quite possibly close to an overreaction), I am lost as to where to begin.

Wendy James has created a pretty much accurate reflection of the mentality of girls in high school school, and how the ‘top gang’ carries more than just power over the rest of the cohort, but also sets the standard for which others have to meet to even be respected. However there are some details which didn’t quite fit with the ‘modern queen bee’ person. Things like the pop culture references which were more aligned with those girls who in my experience never made it in the ‘cool’ group, and so felt quite out of place within the darker tones of the novel.

Throughout the events which unfold in the body of the novel are blog posts by the mother in the family which the story follows, and the unidentified ‘Golden Child’. These posts provide both contrast and context for the horrible occurrences surrounding the youngest daughter’s ‘gang’. Cleverly written, The Golden Child has a rather sinister undertone which is reflected in both the actions of every family involved, as well as in the blogs and their comments.

Though I picked the shocking, and almost heartbreaking twist quite early, it didn’t stop me from questioning not only the main group characters motives within the novel but the side characters too. James brings into question how well you know both yourself and those around you, even those you are closest to, especially when it comes to one’s online persona.

The Golden Child is a gripping yet haunting read which will keep you guessing and bring into question not only the characters in the novel but the people you know in your own life as well. Cleverly written and plotted, this is definitely worth reading and persevering with for any fans of a domestic thriller. Though I found the ending to be well rounded it left me shaking, so I can’t quiet guarantee that it will leave you with a feeling of warmth that you probably want when finishing a novel.

Wordle #121 – Reflection

 

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You,
With your esurient eyes,
Breath just as feral too.

You,
Futile in your ways,
Feed the nothingness within.

Just a reflection,
Of what we hate to be,
What we are.

Yet still,
We turn against you,
Forward through bramble,
Weed and branch.

All the while,
We throw glitter.

To cover up,
To mask, and
Exalt the guilty voice.

~

Written for this weeks Wordle prompt on Mindlovemisery 🙂

End.

It’s best to start at the end of the world.

Among the rubble and ice and fire,
Cities are crushed and children lay curled.

It’s best to start at the end of the world,
Where from ashes a Phoenix rises unfurled,
To nourish the land and people inspire.

It’s best to start at the end of the world,
Among the rubble, and ice, and fire.

~

Trying an unfamiliar form for this one, the Troilet, suggested by Yeah Write’s Poetry Slam. So I’m not 100% sure if I got it right but I’m happy with it, somewhat. It was difficult to work with but rather enjoyable all the same 🙂

Wordle #120 – Present, Past, Future

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Oh, how formidable is youth?

Shining.

Glistening.

Almost cinematic they spiral,
From the navel out.

Forever drifting.

So,
Patiently they wait,
Sehnsucht, and
Choose to step beyond the codex of before.

To feint and change the course.

History must stay in the past,
But the future?
That is ours.

~

A Really interesting collection of words for this weeks Wordle from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie! We are given twelve words and are asked to use at least 10 of them in a poem or story. I’ve bolded the ones I used 🙂